Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Šuti! Trpi!

In March, the United Trade Unions of Mostar held a warning strike and a protest in front of the cantonal education office in protest of the cantonal government's decision to reduce the pay of all teachers by 15%-- but not to reduce the pay of government workers.

The protest was really significant because the Bosniak and Croats teacher's unions supported the strike together. Bosnia-Herzegovina has a divided school system-- the students are taught either "Bosnian" or "Croatian" language (about as different as British and American English), different versions of history (especially recent history), etc. The vacations are different, because the Croat children have holidays during Christmas and the Bosniak children during bajram. Sometimes, to increase the irony, these school systems are actually in the same building, but at different times of the day- the so-called "two schools under one roof". But, in this one act of protest, these two teacher's unions banded together and staged a joint protest. About 500 people showed up, which is absolutely huge for a city like Mostar. (Video edited to the song "Šuti, Trpi" by Dubioza Kolektiv, a song about the corruption of politicians in this country and how these politicians expect that no one will stand up and make them stop. Note: Last week, corrupt (ex)premier of the Federation, Nedžad Branković, handed in his resignation due to pressure from citizen groups.)

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